ZAAB is a network organisation, coordinated by a national secretariat based in Lusaka. There are three membership categories: core organisational members, associate partners and individuals.
ZAAB organisational members reach a wide constituency through their own membership base and programme activities that are undertaken across the country. Much of the direct member work with farmers aims at facilitating training on agroecology and Farmer Managed Seed Systems (FMSS), supporting farmer dialogues and broad information sharing and exchange. Other members work in public research and policy advocacy and have a long history of contribution to ecological and social justice in Zambia. ZAAB fills a niche gap with its focus on agroecology and food sovereignty. We work in collaboration to uphold good governance, facilitate information exchange across sectors, support networking and collective advocacy, research and training. ZAAB aims to build public awareness and advocacy from the ground up, enabling citizens to participate in governance processes and contribute to building a viable future for Zambia.
The Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity Conservation is a united network of concerned citizens, civil society groups and farmer based organisations, working together to strengthen the growing movement for agroecology and food sovereignty in Zambia
ZAAB was initiated in 2010 when a number of civil society and farmer focused organisations came together to defend Zambia’s threatened ‘NO GMO’ presidential declaration of 2002. The civil society alliance continued to operate as a united advocacy network and grew in membership and scope of interest. In 2017, the network organisation was formalised and shortened its name to ZAAB (Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity) in acknowledgment of our holistic existence and biodiversity as a living system, integral to all human life.
Today, ZAAB advocates for citizens’ rights to food sovereignty, embedded within an ecological and socially just Zambia. We support the adoption of agroecology as a holistic, citizenry solution to sustainably build Zambia’s food and farming systems and strengthen resilience against climate change.
ZAAB is concerned that our future is being threatened as economic benefits for a minority are consistently prioritised over and above basic human rights of the majority population and environmental sustainability. Zambia’s agro-food systems are increasingly industrialised, underpinned by the symbolic, so called ‘Green Revolution'. We witness the progressive privatization and control of land, seeds, forests, water, labour – as well as markets – and thus whole production and consumption systems.
Around the world, corporate agribusiness and food retail industries hold increasing market share, that strengthens their power to further control the functioning of the global agro-food system. Many African countries including Zambia, are being compelled to amend national legislation to facilitate increased export oriented trade and the market benefits of multinational corporations. In the process, agrobiodiversity and locally contextual, culturally appropriate nutritious food systems are devalued and destroyed, while inequality rises and communities are dislocated.
Agroecology has developed as a global alternative to industrial agriculture. The science of agroecology applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of production systems.
“Today agroecology has been taken up by rural social movements and progressive NGOs and academics, and is seen as a transformative science, practice and movement that is explicitly committed to a more just and sustainable future by reshaping power relations from farm to table” (Declaration: The role of agroecology on the future of agriculture and the food system. The Call from Brasilia, September 2017)
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"There is no national consensus on GMOs: we maintain the
Right to say No to GMOs in our food and agri-culture"
ZAAB communique adopted at the 5th December 2020 Annual General Meeting, Blue Crest Lodge, Lusaka
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ZAAB Briefing to the Ministry of Green Economy and Environment Stakeholders concerns and considerations regarding the Draft Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy and Ongoing revision process 2022
Introduction This Policy Brief deals with processes that have been underway to revise Zambia’s National Biosafety and Biotechnology Policy, which will change how genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are regulated. Such a process is an issue of great importance for many Zambian people. It therefore requires extensive public consultation and judicious consideration of broad Human Rights. In this regard, the briefing lays out key public concerns with the policy review process, particularly related to GMOs in the agriculture and food system, the impacts on biodiversity, and […]
On 8 December 2021, The Alliance for the Food Sovereignty in Africa met in Nairobi, Kenya. As representatives from 55 African countries, and over 30 million smallholder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples, faith-based institutions, women and youth networks, consumer networks and civil society from across Africa, we join in the global call of action against the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV), and thoroughly reject its imposition on our continent’s food systems. UPOV is at the heart of […]
POLICY BRIEF: Climate disruption, food crises and biodiversity collapse: Time to take Zambian Farmers’ Rights seriously
Zambia faces severe challenges around malnutrition and hunger, biodiversity loss, soil erosion and degradation, and embedded rural poverty.i/ii/iii These challenges are exacerbated by the already felt impacts of climate change – more severe extreme weather events such as droughts, rising temperatures and shifting and shorter rainy seasons. As more than half the population is reliant on agricultural activities for sustenance and cash incomes,iv Zambia’s agriculture sector, founded on the work of its smallholder farmers, makes the most logical and critical intervention point to address […]
Transforming the farm input support programme (FISP) to diversified agroecology practices in Mongu district, Western Province, Zambia
This fourth briefing in a series of four highlights key issues raised at a farmer exchange and learning event held in August 2019 in Mongu District, Western Province, Zambia. Namushakende Farming Institute (NFI) hosted the field visit and dialogue together with the Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity (ZAAB), Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) and the African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB). This multi-stakeholder dialogue involved 63 participants, bringing together farmers, farmers’ groups, civil society, agronomists and Ministry of Agriculture officials. Farming conditions in this region, […]